We seem to have a fair amount of people coming in with fall flea problems. A single flea may bite more than 350 times daily! For a sensitive or flea-allergic animal, itching caused by the bites can become severe.
Fleas also transmit tapeworms. While adult fleas are wingless, they move fast, leaping up to 16 inches at a time. Add this to their small stature, and fleas become difficult to see. Flea dirt is one way to diagnose a flea problem. This will show up as tiny black specs on your pet or their bedding. Put a spec on a paper towel, add water, and flea dirt will turn red.
To effectively eliminate fleas from BOTH your pet and your home, you must disrupt the flea’s life cycle. Topically products kill off adult fleas before they have the chance to reproduce. Flea shampoos help ease discomfort caused by the fleas and may give you an indication of the flea infestation, observe the bath water for floating fleas.
If any fleas have jumped off your dog or cat you will likely need to treat your home along with your pet. Home flea ‘bombs’ are effective, but may miss important areas (such as under your furniture) requiring targeted sprays. Surprise benefit, if you have read this far in the newsletter, come into the store before Oct 10th, tell us you saw this note and receive a $5 gift certificate.
While garlic has long been heralded with repelling bloodsuckers (fleas, in addition to vampires) too much can have a toxic effect on dogs. When using shampoos, bombs, and sprays, also remember that the insecticides can add up quickly, and cause health problems for both you and your pet.
Consult with your vet before using any treatment on a puppy or kitten under 12 weeks. Another important note: When it comes to flea products, “Dogs ONLY” means DOGS ONLY. Ingredients in those products can be harmful or fatal for your cat. Be sure to treat your pet with the appropriate dose for their weight.